View synonyms for shut


[ shuht ]

verb (used with object)

, shut, shut·ting.
  1. to put (a door, cover, etc.) in position to close or obstruct.

    Antonyms: open

  2. to close the doors of (often followed by up ):

    to shut up a shop for the night.

  3. to close (something) by bringing together or folding its parts:

    Shut your book. Shut the window!

  4. to confine; enclose:

    to shut a bird into a cage.

    Synonyms: cage, imprison, jail

  5. to bar; exclude:

    They shut him from their circle.

    Synonyms: prohibit

  6. to cause (a factory, school, etc.) to end or suspend operations, services, or business activity:

    He shut his store, sold his house, and moved away.

    We're shutting the office for two weeks in June.

  7. to bolt; bar.

verb (used without object)

, shut, shut·ting.
  1. to become shut or closed; close.


  1. closed; fastened up:

    a shut door.

  2. Phonetics. checked ( def 4 ).


  1. the act or time of shutting or closing.
  2. the line where two pieces of welded metal are united.

verb phrase

    1. to stop the passage of (water, traffic, electricity, etc.); close off.
    2. to isolate; separate:

      an outpost almost completely shut off from civilization.

    1. to enclose.
    2. to confine, as from illness:

      She broke her leg in a fall and has been shut in for several weeks.

    1. to imprison; confine.
    2. to close entirely.
    3. Informal. to stop talking; become silent (often used as a rude command):

      Just sit down and shut up! I thought the neighbors would never shut up and let me sleep.

    4. Informal. to stop (someone) from talking; silence.
    5. Informal. (used to express disbelief or astonishment):

      You dated her in high school? Shut up!

    1. to close, especially temporarily; end or suspend operations, services, or business activity.
    2. to stop operating or stop the operation of (a machine):

      Did you remember to shut down your computer?

    3. Also shut down onupon. Informal. to hinder; check; stop from doing or saying something:

      He appeared on the talk show to shut down his critics.

    4. Informal. to defeat or outdo:

      The team was able to shut down the offense.

    5. to settle over a place so as to envelop or darken it:

      The fog shut down rapidly.

  1. Informal. free of; rid of:

    He wished he were shut of all his debts.

    1. to keep from entering; exclude.
    2. to hide from view.
    3. to prevent (an opponent or opposing team) from scoring, as in a game of baseball.


/ ʃʌt /


  1. to move (something) so as to cover an aperture; close

    to shut a door

  2. to close (something) by bringing together the parts

    to shut a book

  3. troften foll byup to close or lock the doors of

    to shut up a house

  4. tr; foll by in, out, etc to confine, enclose, or exclude

    to shut a child in a room

  5. tr to prevent (a business, etc) from operating
  6. shut one's eyes to
    to ignore deliberately
  7. shut the door on
    1. to refuse to think about
    2. to render impossible


  1. closed or fastened


  1. the act or time of shutting
  2. the line along which pieces of metal are welded
  3. get shut of or get shot of slang.
    to get rid of

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Other Words From

  • half-shut adjective
  • re·shut verb reshut reshutting
  • un·shut adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of shut1

First recorded before 1000; Middle English s(c)hutten, s(c)hetten, s(c)hitten Old English scyttan “to bolt (a door)”; akin to shoot 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of shut1

Old English scyttan; related to Old Frisian sketta to shut in, Middle Dutch schutten to obstruct

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Idioms and Phrases

  • close (shut) down
  • close (shut) one's eyes to
  • close (shut) the door on
  • keep one's mouth shut
  • open and shut case
  • put up or shut up

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Synonym Study

See close.

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Example Sentences

Instead, insurers refused to pay, and Century 21 is shutting down after almost 60 years in business.

From Fortune

A day after Shanghai Disneyland’s closure, Hong Kong Disneyland shut down.

From Vox

Then on Sunday, Mayor London Breed shut down not just the Great Highway but the parking lots along Ocean Beach.

Heeding the advice of public health experts, they quickly shut down businesses, enacted shelter-in-place orders, and built up testing and contact tracing capacity.

Major Hollywood movie studios largely shut down film production in March.

From Fortune

And the series was implausibly shut out by both the Golden Globe and SAG Awards.

A train had actually arrived at the station but its doors were already shut.

“I was really sexually inexperienced, really sexually shut down,” she explained.

And so it was that the federal government did not shut down just when we all had visions of sugar plumbs dancing in our heads.

Human trials of the Ebola vaccine have been temporarily shut down due to adverse side effects.

Another crash, which nearly shut up his spine like a telescope, told him that there were no wings.

After his death crowds flocked to his grave to touch his holy monument, till the authorities caused the church yard to be shut.

The gnarled hands shut up into clenched fists, and the feeble voice trailed off in an agonized moan.

He shut his fist and hit Butterface a weak but well intended right-hander on the nose.

The Professor went straight home and shut himself up in his study.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.